On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen
Throughout the year the Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen Centennial Committee, headquartered at Centro Nacional de Cultura, offers a rich program to celebrate the centenary of the birth of this "great poetess and exemplary moral, civic and cultural figure who inspires, awakens, challenges and renews us." The celebrations are based on an idea by, and on the initiative of, her daughter Maria Andresen Sousa Tavares, a poetess and artist who has been mandated by her mother to look after her work.
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen was one of the greatest names of 20th-century Portuguese language poetry, cultivating, according to António José Saraiva and Óscar Lopes, “through classic Mediterranean images, the identification of the eternal with human reality and its aspirations to justice.” The remains of the writer rest in Panteão Nacional (Portugal’s ‘National Pantheon’), not far from the house where she lived, on Travessa das Monicas no. 57, just a few steps from Graça Lookout, which is now named after her and features her bronze bust, carved by sculptor António Duarte. Reality confirms Sophia’s verses: “Even if I die the poem will find / A beach where to break its waves.”
Throughout the year the Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen Centennial Committee, headquartered at Centro Nacional de Cultura, offers a rich program to celebrate the centenary of the birth of this “great poetess and exemplary moral, civic and cultural figure who inspires, awakens, challenges and renews us,” as the Manifesto endorsed by the Committee reads.
The program before summer includes: an evocation of Sophia at the Palácio de São Bento Gardens on the occasion of the April 25 Revolution commemorations; an afternoon of debates followed by the reading of Sophia’s poems on Fernando Pessoa (April 30 at 3 pm in Museu de Lisboa – Palácio Pimenta); an exhibition of Vieira da Silva and Arpad Szenes’ works in Sophia’s private collection, to be held at the artists’ Museum/Foundation in Largo das Amoreiras; a two-day conference at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, featuring the greatest Portuguese and foreign experts on Sophia’s work (May 16-17); and a concert by Orquestra Sinfónica Juvenil which will include the premiere of a Christopher Bochmann piece for choir and orchestra based on a poem by Sophia.
For more details about the commemoration program, visit the Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen Centennial website .